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High school gets sound upgrade
November 11, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Gering High School instructor Andy Stobel, who directs the actors for the spring musical, makes some settings on the school’s new sound board.

A new improvement at Gering High School isn’t one that can be seen – but will definitely be heard.

With help from the Oregon Trail Community Foundation, Yount Foundation, and many other businesses and community groups, a new $72,000 state-of-the-art digital sound system has been music to the ears.

The school building’s two sound systems, in the auditorium and the gym, are both more than 25 years old. They were also problematic as it was no longer economically feasible to continue making stop-gap repairs just to keep the sound on.

“The sound system in the auditorium has always been a point of frustration and we constantly had to make temporary fixes just to keep it functioning,” said Gering Choir Director Shelly Revelle-Muggli. “We even had some people eventually stop attending our musicals and concerts because they just couldn’t hear what was happening on stage.”

Although wireless microphones for some of the actors helped during musical productions, there were still places on the stage where the sound just seemed to disappear.

Andy Stobel, who directs the actors in the spring musical, said the old system had a lot of “ghost” problems that no one could track down, such as dead spots and electrical hums and feedback of unknown origin.

“When we have music in here, it’s an entirely different venue,” Stobel said. “I like the fact that people will almost forget they’re listening to someone on a microphone. The sound is that good.”

With a computerized sound board, the director can preset sound cues for any individual event and store them in memory for future retrieval. With a touch of a button, the board resets itself automatically.

“Once we decided something had to be done about the sound system, we got Yanda’s Music in Kearney to come out and take a look last year,” said Gering High School Principal Eldon Hubbard. “After we negotiated a reasonable price, we started fundraising. We also has some seed money from the Gering Booster Club.”

Hubbard also mentioned Jane’s Greenhouse for last spring’s event in honor of the late Gering High School teacher Jason DeMaranville, who made major contributions to the school’s theater department.

“We had people come out of the woodwork because they thought this project was important,” Revelle-Muggli said. “It was something they felt strongly about. As the holiday season approaches and the concerts get in full swing, I think we’ll see many people very happy with the outcome of the new sound system project.”
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